Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari has said bandits terrorising the North West have been declared as terrorists and they would be so treated henceforth.
The president who spoke in an interview with Channels TV aired on Wednesday night, said he has directed the security agencies to go after them.
North West and North Central states States of Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna and Niger, have been ravaged by banditry in recent years, with bandits killing thousands and kidnapping many others, including several school children for ransom.
But speaking in the interview, Buhari said his administration had made progress in tackling insecurity especially in the North East part of the country where the Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists are holding sway.
The President reiterated that when his administration took over in 2015, many local governments were under the control of Boko Haram terrorists, but as of now, according to him, no local government is under the control of terrorists.
Speaking further on the North West security, he said a progress has been made in the last six weeks after several meetings with service chiefs which lasted for several hours.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on November 25, 2021, had granted an ex parte application by the Federal Government for Yan Bindiga (Hausa word for gunmen) and Yan Ta’adda (Hausa word for terrorists) to be declared as terrorists but the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), did not do so after over a month.
However, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, in an interview on Tuesday, said his office was in the process of gazetting the court judgement, adding that the process would be concluded in a matter of days.
Also, a document released by Malami’s spokesman, Umar Gwandu, on Wednesday, showed that the AGF office had gazetted the court order.
The document titled, ‘Terrorism (Prevention) Proscription Order Notice, 2021’ is contained in Volume 108 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette.
It read in part, “Notice is hereby given that by the Order of the Federal High Court Abuja, in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1370/2021 dated 25th November, 2021 as per the schedule to this Notice, the Activities of Yan Bindiga Group, Yan Ta’adda Group and other similar group in Nigeria are declared to be terrorism and illegal in any part of Nigeria, especially in the North West and North-Central Regions of Nigeria and are proscribed, pursuant to sections 1 and 2 of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011.
“Consequently the general public is hereby warned that any person or group of persons participating in any manner whatsoever in any form of activities involving or concerning the prosecution of the collective intentions or otherwise of the groups referred to in paragraph 1 of this Notice will be violating the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 and liable to prosecution.